Hey guys... it’s OVER!
Another FSA Directeur Sportif is in the books. It was a really fun season, not especially predictable, particularly on the men’s side. It went on and on for a while. The competition was tight but not down to the last moment, as was becoming the norm around here the last few years. Anyway, it’s done and dusted. To the results!
On the men’s competition side, our man Col. Klink rode the insanely awesome young duo of Primož Roglič (overall points winner) and Tadej Pogacar (best one-pointer ever, and it’s not close) to a 1600 point win over Team Tony and Les Somnambules. Wait — Roglic is on the top two teams and Pogacar is on the top three. So it’s more accurate to say that it came down to Klink picking Alexey Lutsenko and Mike Teunissen, who cost a combined six smackers and racked up 3000 points.
On the women’s side, GWolcott and his South Shore Cycling prevailed over Team 60956 and.., ta da! Me! Yes, my Andiamo a Napoli squad finished third and put me on the honor roll for the FIRST TIME EVER. I’m not kidding. I haven’t even finished on the podium of the Editors’ League. This is a competition that is so small it was once won by Jimbo. Anyway, GWolcott hit sorta well on several sorta expensive riders, to the point where Coryn Rivera was the 7th best rider on his/her squad. Not any big home runs so much as just a lot of really good picks.
Finally, in the combined competition, the honors go to Caperhamilton, whose Crafty Raccoons and My butterflies clinched the victory over Crooked Rain and WzK. Both of caperhamilton’s teams landed in the top ten, which has only happened twice before. Chapeau!
In keeping with tradition, I am asking each person on the podium to tell us their secret sauce. Mine is using the random team generator and then swapping a few names around of riders I like and hoping it all works out. And it did! Because my favorite all-time rider Marianne Vos had a huge bounce-back year after several years of (gasp!) not being the best rider on the planet. She was a hair’s breadth away from that title, behind Anniemiek van Vleuten. After Vos I let the random generator do its thing, and it did. To great success. And I know I should be ashamed for winning this way, but let’s face it, when is the last time actual cycling knowledge translated into FSA DS success?
Anyway, on to some trends. On the women’s side, the rider you had to have was Lorena Wiebes, third overall after consting just 18 points. But no less than 52 teams (including me) pegged Wiebes for a big year, so really the only shame is in missing out (and for Jens with his pricing tool). Still, the real gold was in Soraya Paladin, a four-pointer who ended up ninth overall. And actually an even shinier object was Demi Vollering, a one-pointer who made it to 14th overall... except she wasn’t on anyone’s team. And like the tree falling in the forest, if there wasn’t anyone there to get smug about Vollering’s results, did they really happen?
On the dude’s side, I already mentioned Pogacar, Teunissen and Lutsenko. Obviously Mathieu van der Poel paid off handsomely after costing 8 shekels, but more than 200 players were in on that one. The cagey picks were guys like Jakob Fuglsang, who has scored big before but fell off last year (950 points) before rebounding to a 2,421-point season. Another would be Alexander Kristoff, whose stock had been down some but popped back up with a 50% increase over last year. Usual suspects like Matteo Trentin, Bauke Mollema, Dylan Groenewegen and Adam Yates all paid off the patient with strong returns on your investment, had you made it.
OK, that’s what I have! Get in your secret stories, successes and failures, and cheer on our winners — who, again, really should drop by and talk about how they got to the top. Well done everyone! Thanks again to our sponsors, Full Speed Ahead, whose wheels and cockpits are flashing by on your TV screen now as we speak. They are all over the pro peloton these days... not bad for a company from Mukilteo, Washington! (And Italy but whatever, they can’t hog all the credit.)
I hope you had fun and see you back for the next round starting February 1 (more or less).